New industry gets State tick of approval

THE next big industry to hit Gladstone and the rest of Queensland moved another step forward with Southern Oil Refinery being granted environmental and planning approval to build its $16 million advanced bio-fuels pilot plant.

The Wagga based oil refinery general manager Tim Rose said he received the approval for the pilot plant from the State government yesterday and work had already started on preparing the Yarwun site for construction.

The pilot plant will test the science behind turning waste products such as sugar cane, green waste and tyres into a fuel that is a 100% substitute for modern day fuel.

If successful the plant would be the first one of its kind and Mr Rose will build a $150 million commercial plant.

The commercial plant will create more than 200 jobs all around Queensland including Mackay, Rockhampton, Bundaberg, Toowoomba, Clermont and the largest number in Gladstone.

These jobs will come from 12 smaller processing plants where the waste will be broken down to a liquid feedstock to be turned into advanced bio-fuels in Gladstone.

Mr Rose said he would be coming to Gladstone next week to talk to contractors about the construction of the pilot plant.

"We will be preparing the plant in September and October and will be running trials by November and December," he said.

"At the moment we're already upgrading our systems with extended hydrant systems and new tanks.

"We have already started to open up some of the ground for some of the civil works."

Mr Rose said he was confident the pilot plant would be a success and the commercial plant would go ahead.

He thanked the Queensland Government for chipping in with some funds and supporting the future of advanced bio-fuels with positive legislation.

With commercial airlines and the US and Australian Navies showing interest in using the advanced bio-fuels Mr Rose was keen to get it off the ground and said Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk was as well.

"I believe the premier is meeting with the US on Wednesday and will sign a bio-fuels agreement," he said.



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